Man who hit officer with car sentenced to 13-month jail term

Rosie Mullaley
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Michael Shawn Sullivan of St. John's was back in provincial court Friday, when he was sentenced to 13 months in jail. - File photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man who hit a female police officer with a car has been sentenced to a year and a month behind bars.

Michael Shawn Sullivan received the sentence in provincial court in St. John's Friday.

Judge Robert Hyslop gave the 46-year-old three months' credit for the time he's already served in custody, leaving 10 months left on his term.

The sentence also included a year's probation and a six-year driving prohibition.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon (the car), driving while disqualified, evading police and three counts of breaching an undertaking. He breached the conditions by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, for failing to notify police of a change of address and for driving when he was ordered not to.

He was arrested as a result of an incident that happened Jan 10.

Two officers were travelling north on Portugal Cove Road, in the east end of St. John's, when they spotted a suspicious vehicle. They ran its licence plate number through the police system and found the owner, Sullivan, had a Canada-wide prohibition on his licence.

Sullivan pulled in to Tim Hortons on Portugal Cove Road and went through the drive-thru before pulling into a parking stall.

The officers pulled up behind the vehicle, blocking him in. The female officer approached the driver's side and told him to shift his car from reverse into park and to produce a licence and insurance.

The driver allegedly hit the gas suddenly, sending the car jerking backwards. The driver did this several times, shifting the vehicle back and forth between drive and reverse to manoeuvre around the police cruiser and out of the parking space.

The officer was struck multiple times by the car, was pinned between the two vehicles before falling to the ground and briefly ending up partially under the car.

The second RNC officer, until this point still in the cruiser, jumped out and pulled his partner out from under the car. The vehicle then sped away at a dangerous speed, heading west on Higgins Line.

The injured officer received minor injuries. She was treated and returned to finish her shift that day.

The RNC tracked down Sullivan by contacting his known family, friends and associates.

Officers managed to negotiate his surrender - he agreed to meet them in a parking lot on Military Road, where he was taken into custody. Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: Tim Hortons

Geographic location: St. John's, Portugal Cove Road, Canada Military Road

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Recent comments

  • David
    March 19, 2012 - 14:39

    Nothing against police, but if there is one professional to never cross, it's the cops. If this were a regular citizen victim, there search for justice would be left high and dry by a legal 'club' (no, it is NOT a system) that has it's head squarely up it's arse.

    March 18, 2012 - 14:55

    I guess he should have stole some money or poached some moose and he would have gotten more of a sentence. When are the judges going to determine what is more valuable a life or money. The cop could have been killed here ,what a deterrent .

  • Paying for Nova Scotia
    March 18, 2012 - 05:48

    He would get a more lenient sentence if he had killed someone in a parking garage with a truck.

  • Christine
    March 17, 2012 - 17:30

    This is the same story as posted by VOCM News Site!! A man who once served as Mayor for the town of Logy Bay Middle Cove Outer Cove has been sentenced to 13 months in jail after assaulting a police officer with his car. 46-year-old Shawn Sullivan pleaded guilty to several charges at provincial court yesterday, the most serious of which was assault with a weapon. He unintentionally knocked down an officer who had pulled him over on a Tim Horton's parking lot on Portugal Cove Road. The officer was saved by her partner who dragged her from underneath the vehicle. Judge Robert Hyslop said if it wasn't for that other officer, this case could have been a catastrophe, or a murder case. Sullivan was sentenced to 13 months in jail less 3 months already served. He has been prohibited from driving for 6 years, and once he's released, Sullivan will serve 3 years probation. BRAVO to the Telegram for reporting this story correctly. I could not understand how someone could go to jail for "UNINTENTIONALLY" hitting anyone.

  • Pinger
    March 17, 2012 - 15:21

    Seems really lienient with someone with that kind of track record.